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Camp Water

Camp water is close to home. Here you will find information on stuff happening here in the shop and on our local waters. You'll also find our weekly newsletter feature, Trailer Trash Thursday, a fun collection of fly fishing videos, perfect for a midweek distraction. If you don't get the newsletter, be sure to sign up today!

Trailer Trash Thursday Cutthroat Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, April 21, 2016

These are some pretty fish! Enjoy the film. Remember, you can go to full size view by clicking the Vimeo logo in the righthand corner.

Unspoken: A Pursuit of Rio Grande Cutthroat - Film Trailer from Living Waters Fly Fishing on Vimeo.

Jerome Bonaparte La Follette

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Our history, our story is there hidden in the pages of time just waiting for us to open the cover and discover where we came from and who we are. For some, the story is written in music; notes played and handed down from one to another and shared with the world telling all who hear this melody the story of their lives, their history. Others find their yesterday in the brush strokes of a painting; the scene recording an event that determined their path and led them to where they are today.

We all have a history that goes back to when the tale was told with languages now unspoken or motions of the hand in the light of a fire. Drawings on cave walls tell our tale as do the stones shaped into monuments that mark our heroes, our accomplishments and our passing.

Have you ever set out in one direction only to find yourself somewhere far away from your original destination? I set out on a simple journey, or so I thought, and now find myself unraveling a historical record of the La Follette family in Oregon just to locate a patch of land and the creek that flows though it. What was all about finding and fishing this small creek on the old family homestead has become a glimpse into not only my family history, but the history of a large section of central Oregon.

My great-great-great Grandfather, Jerome Bonaparte La Follette, came overland to Albany, Oregon, in 1862 from Indiana with his wife Sophia and sons Thomas, John and Charles. In 1871 they moved on and settled a homestead on Camp Creek near Prineville, which at the time was simply called Prine. Later, they moved to a ranch on McKay Creek, with the family eventually having land holdings scattered across the county.

The La Follette family were farmers and if County Fair ribbons are any indication, fairly good ones. They brought fruit stock to the east side of the Cascades from the valley and shared it with the pioneers of what would become Crook County. They raised grain, cattle, sheep, chickens, pigs and fruit for trade and barter. Jerome also had a horse ranch near the Deschutes and took pride in raising strong stock to pull wagons and provide transportation for the growing population. Sadly, Jerome was found dead on the road near the Tethrow Ferry (now Lower Bridge) on November 6, 1884, having fallen from his wagon as he hauled feed for the horses from his ranch on McKay Creek to his place on the Deschutes. La Follette Butte, located a short distance from where he died is named for him.

This report was sent to the local paper.

Prineville, Or., Nov, 6, 1884
To the Editor of the SUN:
It is my painful privilege to report to you a very distressing accident which happened to Mr. J.B. La Follette, one of our most esteemed citizens, which has probably resulted in his death. Mr. La Follette left his place this morning with a load of hay, intending to go to his horse ranch near the Tethrow Ferry on the Deschutes River; distance about 24 miles. When within about 300 yards of Mr. Tethrow’s house he from cause fell from his wagon, and is supposed sustained fatal injuries.
The team which he was driving was seen coming down the road at a slow walk by Mr. Jesse Tethrow, and seeing no one driving it he suspected some harm had come to the driver and started back up the road. When about 300 yards up he found the body of a man and some blankets and bedding laying in the road just at the foot of a steep little pitch or hill. Upon lifting the head of the body he saw the face was very pale or white, and that the man was yet alive. After taking a second look he discovered that Mr. La Follette was the person before him, and then asked him if he could speak, calling him by name. Mr. La Follette then moved his lips as though trying to say something, but could not articulate a sound. Jesse placed his head upon some of the blankets found with him and ran for his mother and sister to assist the wounded man, while he saddled a horse and went for other assistance. His sister, who had preceded him, told him as he came by the place of the accident on his way here that the man was dead. So he hurried on, notified parties near the accident. He arrived here at 7:15 this evening.

Mr. La Follette came to this country some 14 or 15 years ago, and by industry and fair dealing had gained for himself quite a competence and the confidence and esteem of the entire community. He was about 53 years old, but was in robust health, and seemed good for 20 years of life yet. His wife and children are near here on their home place on McKay Creek. The heartfelt sympathy of the whole community goes out to his bereaved family. A good man is gone.
Respectfully, T.W.V.

While a good man was gone, a family lived on to helped shape Crook County and continued writing the history that would become my story.  A story that was just waiting for me to open the pages and step in. Now in all fairness, much of the family history was passed down to me as living members of the clan tried to interest a very young man in the dusty tales of those times. In addition, books have been written on the La Follette linage providing a simple trail to follow as I try to connect to the past. Yet, those did not provide me with the touchstone I was looking for to begin this project. I needed to visit Prineville and see it with the eyes of my family.

I had learned where the family final resting place was before making the trip east, so I spent most of the day searching records at the County Court House. I was looking for the location of the two ranches where they lived, worked and in some cases, fished. My research could have gone on for days as each document I opened offered some answers, but even more questions.

With miles to go and wanting to at least wet a line in the Metolius, I clicked off the county clerk’s computer and headed home. As I started towards the setting sun with plans to catch the last of the day with my boots in the river, something made me turn around. I phoned my wife, Kellie, and had her send me the address of a little cemetery just north of town. Soon I was turning in between the gates and confronted with the monumental task of finding my family that now rested here.

The older gentleman in charge of the place looked like he would be more at home on a horse tending cattle, but pecked at the vintage laptop and noted the locations of the La Follettes on a Post-it Note. After consulting a map and getting his bearings, I followed him through the maze of stone until we stood with Jerome, Sophia and young son, James. A weathered sagebrush pushed up between mother and son, but Jerome’s white marble marker stood alone and seemed out of place. I had known that the local historical society had replaced the stone many years ago when the original had become unrepairable. Over one hundred years in the rugged Central Oregon weather had taken its toll. At the time I had felt a loss that I didn’t understand, but standing there I knew why. This stone, while marking the memory of the man, did not resonate the love and respect shown by his family and community at his passing. 

I had previously inquired as to the location of the original stone, but try as I could I was unable to find anyone that knew what had been done with it. I had lost hope in ever seeing it, accepting this truth, but feeling the emptiness of history lost. I asked my guide if he had any idea what had become of it or where it could have ended up. Soon his weathered hands were fiddling with a large collection of identical keys trying to convince an old rusty lock to open. It seemed the question would go unanswered yet again. Then success, the gate swung open to reveal a forgotten collection of broken bits of ancient granite and marble showing through sagebrush and dust. I was somehow drawn to a particular stone that lay shattered in an opening in the brush and weeds. There, lit by the late afternoon sun lay the touchstone I was seeking. Now the adventure can begin.

Trailer Trash Thursday Small Stream Edition

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Many of us started fishing small water when we first picked up a fly rod. Some anglers never left those small streams roots. Perhaps it's time to explore those little creeks and rivers again.  

Small Water Matrix from Pacific Extremes on Vimeo.

PGE releases their final report on the Deschutes

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The final report for the Portland General Electric (PGE) Lower Deschutes River Macroinvertebrate and Periphyton Study was presented on April 6th and 8th at meetings hosted by PGE. R2 Resource Consultants of Redmond, Washington conducted the study, which was completed under contract to, and funded by, PGE. You can download a copy here.  Please note that this copy will be downloaded to your computer and is not posted for viewing online by PGE.

This is a two-year study conducted over two months (April and October) each year starting in October 2013. The study was a required condition of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing of the Pelton-Round Butte Hydroelectric Complex. The study described finding, “post-Selective Water Withdrawal conditions similar to pre-Selective Water Withdrawal, or improved.”

While landowners and recreational users of the river may have a different view of the condition of the river, it will take some time to digest PGE's study results. The Deschutes River Alliance is currently reviewing PGE's findings and comparing them to the extensive data that the DRA has compiled. There seems to be differences between studies and interpretation of results. Look for more information about these findings from the DRA in the future.

This Selective Water Withdrawal is PGE's only plan for the operation of the Dam complex on the lower Deschutes at this time. Those of us who know the river have seen the changes this SWW has brought about and they are not good for the longterm health of the river. Anglers, boaters, hikers, birders, landowners and other user groups need to be aware of this issue and get involved with this effort to save the Deschutes. The Deschutes River Alliance needs our help to make sure the Deschutes is a strong and healthy river for generations to come. Please donate your time and money to help save this very important part of Oregon.

Learn more about water quality research on the lower Deschutes River on the  Deschutes River Alliance's website.

Artistry on the Fly from Lincoln Motor Company

Joel La Follette - Friday, April 08, 2016

Fly fishing. It's about 52 years harder than this guy makes it look. Meet him through the link in our bio. Shot by @JaredChambers.

A photo posted by The Lincoln Motor Company (@lincolnmotorco) on

The nice folks from Lincoln Motor Company rolled through town and stopped in for a visit wanting to learn more about our little fly shop. Check out the story on their website.

@flytyer27 tying flies. 🎣

A photo posted by Ashley E. Davidson (@iamashley) on

One of my favorite days, fly fishing and shooting with Joel and Jared in Oregon.

A photo posted by Ashley E. Davidson (@iamashley) on

Trailer Trash Thursday Funky Hat Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, April 07, 2016

While doing the normal search for great films to share on Trailer Trash Thursday I came upon this. Now, at first I thought my friends at Winston had brought out a new rod and forgot to tell me, but Josh 2.0 explained it's all about the hat. A hat. Who would have guessed that a  baseball cap would have a name, much less a whole video. Wow. It must be a cool hat. I think I'd better order some.

The Winston SE by Coal Headwear from COAL HEADWEAR on Vimeo.

Dams to come down on the Klamath

Joel La Follette - Thursday, April 07, 2016

U.S. Department of the Interior Press Release

Last edited 4/6/2016
Date: April 6, 2016
Contact: Jessica Kershaw,

KLAMATH, Calif. — The U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Commerce, PacificCorp, and the states of Oregon and California today signed an agreement that, following a process administered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), is expected to remove four dams on the Klamath River by 2020, amounting to one of the largest river restoration efforts in the nation.

State and federal officials also signed a new, separate agreement with irrigation interests and other parties known as the 2016 Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement (KPFA). This agreement will help Klamath Basin irrigators avoid potentially adverse financial and regulatory impacts associated with the return of fish runs to the Upper Klamath Basin, which are anticipated after dams are removed.

This new agreement acknowledges that additional work is necessary to fully restore the Klamath Basin, advance the recovery of its fisheries, uphold trust responsibilities to the tribes, and sustain the region’s farming and ranching economy. Many of these efforts will require Congressional action, and the agreement commits the signatories to actively cooperate with all Klamath Basin stakeholders – Members of Congress, tribes, farmers and others – to develop additional agreements over the next year to offer comprehensive solutions to these issues.

The signing ceremony took place today at the mouth of the Klamath River on the Yurok Indian Reservation in Klamath. California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, and President and CEO of Pacific Power Stefan Bird participated in the event, along with Congressman Jared Huffman, tribes, water users and non-governmental organizations from the Klamath Basin community.

The newly amended dam removal agreement, which uses existing nonfederal funding and follows the same timeline as the original agreement, will be filed with FERC on or about July 1 for consideration under their established processes. Under the agreement, dam owner PacifiCorp will transfer its license to operate the Klamath River dams to a private company known as the Klamath River Renewal Corporation. This company will oversee the dam removal in 2020. PacifiCorp will continue to operate the dams until they are decommissioned.

“Today is a historic day where the parties who have worked for decades to restore the Klamath Basin are reaffirming their commitment to each other for the shared vision of fisheries restoration and irrigated agriculture co-existing as we move into the future,” said Secretary Jewell. “This agreement is an important initial step as we work toward a comprehensive set of actions to advance long term restoration and sustainability for tribes, fisheries, and agriculture and water users across the Klamath Basin.”

“These agreements will enable the largest dam removal project in the nation,” said Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA administrator. “While more work lies ahead, these agreements support efforts to recover fisheries, sustain the region's farming and ranching interests, and benefit the environment and the communities who rely upon the Klamath River.”

“This historic agreement will enable Oregon and California and the interested parties to get these four dams finally removed and the Klamath River restored to its pristine beauty," Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. said.

“These agreements are more than ink and paper, they are a roadmap to the future of the Klamath Basin and of the people who live there,” said Governor Kate Brown. “I’m proud to be a part of a plan that invokes the spirit of collaboration to ensure the recovery of the Klamath's historic fishing grounds while sustaining the region’s farming and ranching heritage.”

“PacifiCorp continues to support the Klamath settlement as a fair way forward for our electricity customers in Oregon, California and beyond,” said Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp. “The company is committed to continuing to work with our settlement partners to fully enact this important agreement.”

In 2010, Klamath Basin stakeholders signed the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA). In 2014, the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (UKBCA) was signed. Members of the California and Oregon delegations introduced legislation in the past two Congresses to advance the hard-fought KHSA and two related Klamath agreements. However, the U.S. Congress adjourned last year without authorizing them. The expiration of the KBRA last December caused uncertainty in moving forward with the KHSA and UKBCA.

In early 2016, the parties, who have spent years negotiating the pacts, resolved to find a new path forward. The amended KHSA and the 2016 Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement are the result of those collaborative discussions.

The four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath River are operated for hydroelectric power generation. Modern environmental laws require that the dams need to be retrofitted to provide fish passage for salmon, steelhead and other fish. The Oregon and California public utility commissions found that the original KHSA was a prudent alternative for PacifiCorp’s customers.

The Klamath River flows 263 miles through Oregon and northern California in the United States, emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Tami Heilemann, DOI.

Thomas P. O'Rourke, Chairman Yurok Tribe, Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon, Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor of California. Photo by Tami Heilemann, DOI.

Trailer Trash Thursday Dry Fly Love Song Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, March 31, 2016

One of the hardest things about doing a weekly feature is, well, it comes weekly. Finding a worthy video for Trailer Trash Thursday is becoming much harder in this day of head mounted GoPros and cheap video drones. Yesterday I was about to give up when I came upon this fantastic piece of fly fishing entertainment. Hallelujah!

 Be sure to click the Vimeo logo to go to full frame,

A dry fly love song from Rolf Nylinder on Vimeo.

Trailer Trash Thursday Solace edition

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I may not understand a word of Italian, but the video is beautiful. Enjoy!

My Place of Solace from Paolo Concari on Vimeo.

Trailer Trash Thursday the JazzBall Edition

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Yes I know it's St. Patrick's Day, but I couldn't find an Irish fly fishing video. I figured the next best thing was a Swedish fly fishing video.  At least you're getting an accent in this one. I'll have to say this particular video is nothing short of brilliant. If  you don't come away saying, "why didn't I think that?" you probably already thought of that. I'll admit, I didn't. Maybe it's because I don't drive a Volvo.  

(Disclaimer: Use of studded boots and the JazzBall should be done with caution.)

The JazzBall from Jazz & Fly Fishing on Vimeo.

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